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Alun Wyn Jones asks his Welsh team to ‘accept the pressure’ to face New Zealand

Alun Wyn Jones asked his Welsh team to accept the pressure of a back-to-wall test when they play New Zealand without top talent on Saturday.

Almost everything is against Wales in their first fall game; With at least 15 players injured and unavailable as the match is outside the international window, Covid eliminated Uilisi Halaholo and the fact that the All Blacks have beaten them every time since 1953.

But Captain Jones, who is approaching his thirteenth match for Wales against the three-time world champions, and a record 149 for his country, will give his team no excuses.

Alun Wyn Jones asked his Welsh team to accept the pressure of a back-to-wall test when they play New Zealand without top talent on Saturday.

Alun Wyn Jones asked his Welsh team to accept the pressure of a back-to-wall test when they play New Zealand without top talent on Saturday.

“The pressure is always there when you play for Wales because of the level of expectation we have,” he said.

‘That’s always the same, particularly after the spell we’ve had in recent years. Ultimately, it’s an opportunity for a lot of guys, and they know there will be more players coming into the team, more key players coming back from injury in due course.

“It’s an opportunity for a lot of people to raise their hands and there’s probably no bigger game to do it than the first one we have.

‘Being outside the window is probably frustrating that we can’t have access to everyone, but it is what it is.

Almost everything is against Wales;  with at least 15 of Wayne Pivac's players (above) injured and unavailable as the match is outside the international window

Almost everything is against Wales;  with at least 15 of Wayne Pivac's players (above) injured and unavailable as the match is outside the international window

Almost everything is against Wales; with at least 15 of Wayne Pivac’s players (above) injured and unavailable as the match is outside the international window

The coronavirus has also eliminated Uilisi Halaholo (above) for his fall opening match

The coronavirus has also eliminated Uilisi Halaholo (above) for his fall opening match

The coronavirus has also eliminated Uilisi Halaholo (above) for his fall opening match

I am aware of the statistics and logs. It’s one of those things, a lot of guys probably haven’t played New Zealand.

“ There are a lot of external things going on right now that are distractions from rugby, so it’s been good to focus on rugby and you probably won’t get bogged down with those kinds of (records).

“We know well the history of the game, the succession of quality players that they have always had. But yeah, our focus is on the performance and construction of the Six Nations and the opportunity the boys had in the summer. That should be our focus.

“Obviously the odds are against us, I’ll leave it to the people who are dealing with the odds.”

Jones has refocused his gaze after the Lions’ tour, in which he injured his shoulder only to return two weeks later and play all three tests in South Africa.

After that he had a full two weeks off, ‘the first time I’ve had free time in a long time’, then he trained for three and a half at Ospreys, finishing with two matches before returning to camp in Wales.

Additionally, they have suffered losses to the All Blacks every time they have played since 1953.

Additionally, they have suffered losses to the All Blacks every time they have played since 1953.

Additionally, they have suffered losses to the All Blacks every time they have played since 1953.

However, Jones, who is approaching his thirteenth match for Wales against the three-time world champions and a record 149 for his country, will not make excuses for his team.

However, Jones, who is approaching his thirteenth match for Wales against the three-time world champions and a record 149 for his country, will not make excuses for his team.

However, Jones, who is approaching his thirteenth match for Wales against the three-time world champions and a record of 149 for his country, will not make excuses for his team.

The 36-year-old is in his fifth cycle of the World Cup and has told his team to squint in preparation for France in 2023.

“It is essentially, excluding this campaign, four campaigns and then a World Cup,” he explained.

‘Two Six Nations, one summer and one fall, in a World Cup, so depending on your age and experience, some will say that you are miles apart. Not really. It is not necessarily on the doorstep, but in sport, time changes very quickly, so you have to keep in mind that it is the beginning of the cycle.

“I know it is a contradiction in terms, but you have to be aware, as it will be here before we know it.”

That means perfecting a game plan and scoring results with time running. Jones has been encouraged by the progress made by coach Wayne Pivac, but knows that Wales must offer more.

Jones has refocused his gaze after the Lions' tour, in which he injured his shoulder (above)

Jones has refocused his gaze after the Lions' tour, in which he injured his shoulder (above)

Jones has refocused his gaze after the Lions’ tour, in which he injured his shoulder (above)

He is in his fifth cycle of the World Cup and has told his team to focus on preparing for France.

He is in his fifth cycle of the World Cup and has told his team to focus on preparing for France.

He is in his fifth cycle of the World Cup and has told his team to focus on preparing for France.

“Wales are always questioned about strength in depth and having players in certain positions,” he said before testing against New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia.

I think Wayne has grabbed that bull by the horns. The fact that you have crowned so many players in the fall and summers in particular means that you are setting your stage with the availability of players and the number at your disposal.

“When a change occurs, the clicking of the fingers is not heard and it happens automatically. We are still aware of our last fall, which is hugely disappointing.

“We won a championship and we missed a Grand Slam. As we have progressed, there are still things we need to address, as there always will be.

You don’t want to get too far ahead. Obviously we want to win. ‘

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